Letter from the Editor: Celebrating 130 years of The Cavalier Daily

In 1890, the first edition of The Cavalier Daily — then called College Topics — affirmed, “We have associated with ourselves the ablest corps of reporters in the world, and we are sure that those who read us once will swear by us forever. Towards the faculty, we will maintain a dignified independence, while politically, impartiality will be our chief characteristic. Without prejudice and without fear we will criticize all factions and parties where their conduct is reprehensible.”

A name change and 130 years later, this is still the function of The Cavalier Daily, the oldest newspaper in Charlottesville. 

Through the decades, The Cavalier Daily has grown and changed along with the University. We are financially independent from the University. We have a staff of more than 450 students. We’ve expanded past print and now operate on several platforms — online, digital magazine, several forms of social media and most recently on Spotify as a podcast. Many of our alumni have gone on to be professional journalists, and we’ve won many awards for our reporting and editorials. While journalism has evolved, we still publish content online daily, and our mission has not changed.  

At our core, The Cavalier Daily is a public service. We are a paper of record, and we have documented the University and its community since 1890. We are the journalists in this community that hold it accountable. The University prides itself on its commitment to student self governance, and that wouldn’t be possible without the student newspaper.

We tell the stories of community members and changemakers. We follow the Hoos all the way to national championship wins, and we write about the important scientific breakthroughs happening at the University. We praise the rise of student musicians and art openings. We spark conversations around Grounds with our editorials. We elevate voices and opinions and push our readers to think.

The Cavalier Daily also provides an invaluable opportunity to students at the University, a college without a journalism program. The paper allows aspiring journalists, photographers, videographers, graphic designers and editors to practice and learn the skills out in the field. We get real-world experience through the paper and an opportunity to learn.

This past month, CD staffers have paged through our archives and found important, interesting stories from our past. In this edition, we bring some of these stories into the present. We are retelling the story of The Cavalier Daily’s independence and the University’s efforts to censor our paper. Our sports staff gives the evolution of U.Va.’s mascot, and Life writers have found some love stories on the CD’s staff. Additionally, we’ve selected a few articles to reprint in this paper and republished several online.

As an independent organization, we don’t receive any funding from U.Va. in order to preserve the journalistic integrity of our reporting. In addition to advertisements, we rely on contributions from our readers and alumni to fund operational costs. Your contributions will go to support The Cavalier Daily as it continues to serve the University for another 130 years.

-Gracie Kreth, Editor-in-Chief of the 130th term

From the archives: